Composition module

The composition module is designed to help users writing a thesis or a book. It is an evolutionary process.

You start off by collecting references, files, web clippings, etc. You may first write a few notes. Those notes will evolve into sections or chapters. The composition module allows you to easily organize your writing pieces into outlines. For a big writing project like a thesis or book, it is much easier to separate your writing into smaller pieces instead of one big file. The composition module supports the reuse of your writing pieces. You can create more than one composition folder and quickly assemble the same notes into different outlines and compare the drafts. The composition module can help you to generate a table of contents, formatted citations and bibliography, a suggested reading list, a glossary, and index automatically the final draft.

Building blocks

Notes from notes module are the building blocks of a composition project. All outline entries are based on notes. You can drag-and-drop notes to a composition outline. The same note can be added to many outlines. When the note content is changed, the drafts built from those outlines are all changed accordingly.

Content reuse

The composition module promotes content reuse. Besides the reuse of notes in different outlines, references and categories are also reused. You enter a reference entry once, and it can be inserted as a temporary citation into many notes. You can also drag-and-drop a reference to different suggested reading lists. A category entry can be added to many notes in an outline as an index term or added to many glossary lists.

Outline

The outline pane allows users to quickly assemble existing notes into a draft using drag-and-drop. Users can also create new notes which can be automatically added to the outline. The ordering of notes can be changed by drag-and-drop or clicking the toolbar buttons. When you compile your composition, the outline can be converted to a table of contents of your final draft.

  • New Note: Create a new note and add it to the current composition folder. You will be prompted to enter a note title, note type, and select the folder where the new note will be added. The new note will be automatically included in the current composition folder. You can then add content to the new note in the compsition module.
  • New Child Note: Create a new note and add it to the current composition folder, and make it the child of the current note in the outline.
  • Delete: Delete the selected notes in the outline. The notes will be deleted without prompting. You can recover them from the Recycle bin if needed.
  • Add Existing Notes: Select existing notes and add them to the outline.
  • Remove: Remove the selected notes from the outline. The notes will not be deleted from their notes folder.
  • Move Left: Move the selected note one level higher in the outline tree, so it will become a sibling note of its current parent note.
  • Move Right: Move the selected note to be the child note of the note above it.
  • Move Up: Move the current note above the note above it.
  • Move Down: Move the current note below the note below it.
  • Mark: Mark the current note using the color flags. This mark only applies to the current composition folder.
  • Refresh: Refresh the outline to show new changes.

Chart

The chart pane provides a different view of your outline items. In the chart view, you can get an overview picture of your writing. You can zoom in, zoom out, or rotate the chart. You can also re-arrange the structure of your composition by drag-and-drop.

  • Fit: Display all the objects in the current view. If you have lots of objects, each one will be very small.
  • Actual Size: Display objects in its actual size.
  • Rotate: Rotate the chart clockwise by 90 degrees.
  • Refresh: Refresh the chart to show new changes.

Citation

The citation pane lists all temporary citations of your composition project. When you add an existing note to your outline, Biblioscape will automatically generate a citation entry for this list. You can sort the list to how many times a reference is cited, as well as how many references are cited in each note.

  • Open Reference: Open the reference of temporary citation in its own window. The reference is surrounded by "***". This will be helpful when several references are included inside together in temp citation.
  • Open Note: Open the note in its own window.
  • Mark: Mark the selected citation with color flags.
  • Refresh: Refresh the temp citation list to show new changes.

Suggested Reading

You can build a list of suggested reading quickly by drag-and-drop of eixsing references. If needed, you can create chapters and build a suggested reading list for each chapter. When compile the final draft, you can chose an output style out of 2,000 plust styles, and let Biblioscape build a suggested reading list accordingly.

  • New Reference: Add a new references to the suggested reading list.
  • Delete Selected References: Delete the selected references from suggested reading list. You can recover deleted records from Recycle bin if needed.
  • Add Existing References: Add existing references to the suggested reading list.
  • Remove Selected References: Remove selected references from the suggested reading list. References will not be deleted.
  • Mark Selected References: Mark selected references using color flags. The mark only applies to the current composition folder.
  • Refresh: Referesh the suggested reading list to show changes.
  • Chapter: Display the current chapter selection from a list of chapters.
  • Assign Chapter to Selected References: Assign current chapter to selected references.
  • New Chapter: Add a new chapter to the chapter list.
  • Delete Chapter: Delete the current chapter.
  • Edit Chapter: Rename the currently selected chapter.

Index

When writing a book or thesis using a traditional word processor, building index can be a painful job. Because you don't have a clean view of index terms in a word processor document. The index pane provides such a view. It lists index terms and the notes that is associated with such a term. So you can see how many index terms are added for a note, as well as what notes are marked with an index term. You can add a new index term easily by drag-and-drop a categories item on the right to an outline entry. When compile the final draft, you can let Biblioscape to build the end of book index automatically for you.

  • New Index Term (Category): Add a new category as an index term for the currently selected note.
  • Delete: Delete the selected index term. You can recover deleted categories from the Recycle bin if needed.
  • Add Existing Categories as Index: Select from existing categories and add them as index terms for the currently selected note.
  • Remove: Remove selected categories as index terms. The categories will not be deleted.
  • Mark: Mark the selected categories using color flags. The mark only applies to the current composition folder.
  • Refresh: Refresh the index list to show changes.

Glossary

You can quickly build a glossary list for your composition project by drag-and-drop existing category items into the glossary list. For each category item, there is a Definition field. If that category is dragged into the glossary list, the cateogry name will be used as glossary term and the text in Definition field will be added after the term. This feature promotes content reuse. You can add a category entry with definition once, and use it many times as a glossary term in different composition projects.

  • New Glossary Term (Category): Add a new category record and it will be automatically added as a glossary term to the current composition folder.
  • Delete: Delete the selected glossary terms.
  • Add Existing: Add existing categories as glossary terms to the current composition folder.
  • Remove: Remove selected glossary terms. The category records will not be deleted.
  • Mark: Mark glossary terms with color flags. The mark applies to the current composition folder only. 
  • Refresh: Refresh the glossary term list to show new changes.

Compile

The compile pane allows you to define how your final draft will be produced. You can decide whether to include table of contents, index, glossary, which style should be used to generate citations and bibliography, which style should be used for suggested reading list, etc. You can also chose the font, size, alignment of title text for each level in your outline, and decide what fields to be included for each note. For example, you can chose to not only add the main text, but also the abstract, Misc text, metadata, and links. All the setting parameters can be saved as a file. You can create several setting files for your compostion project and generate final drafts for different audiences. Once all the settings are set, clicking the "Compile to RTF" button will generate the final draft for you according to the settings and open it automatically using Word.

  • Compile to RTF: Biblioscape will compile your notes in the composition folder according to the settings and save the compiled final draft in RTF format. The file will be opened by your default word processor. If you use Microsoft Word, you can press Ctrl+A to select all and then press the F9 key to geneate Table of Contents and Index.
  • Compile to HTM: Biblioscape will compile your notes in the composition folder according to the settings and save the compiled final draft in HTML format. The file will be opened by your default web browser.
  • Setting Selection: Select the settings file to use. The file stores all your settings selection and is saved under Biblioscape Global sub-folder with file extension "*.bcs".
  • Save Settings As: Click this button to save your current settings as another file. You will be prompted to enter a new file name. Biblioscape will save the new file under the Global sub-folder.

Composition settings allow users to control what fields to be included, and how notes should be formatted in the compiled final draft. You can create different settings file for different project, or you can edit existing settings. The changes will be automatically saved when you quit Biblioscape or select another settings file.

  • Convert temporary citations using the style: Check this box if you want Biblioscape to convert temporary citations in the compiled draft to formatted citations and bibliography. You can select the desired style out of a list. Only styles that are marked Favorite are listed. If you the style you want is not listed. Please go to the references module. Go to menu command "Tools | Styles | Output Styles". Select the desired style and click the button Toggle Favorite.
  • Include Suggested Reading list using the style: Check this box if you want Biblioscape to generate a reference list of those references under the "Suggested Reading" list. Select the output style you want to use.
  • Include the Outline as TOC: Check this box if you want Biblioscape to generate Table of Contents (TOC) for the compiled draft. This option does not apply if you compile to HTM. After the final draft is compile, the document will be opened by your default word processor for RTF file. If you use Microsoft Word, you need to press Ctrl+A to select all and press the F9 key to let Word to generate the TOC.
  • Include Index terms: Check this box if you want Biblioscape to generate the end of book index for your compiled draft. This option does not apply if you compile to HTM. After the final draft is compile, the document will be opened by your default word processor for RTF file. If you use Microsoft Word, you need to press Ctrl+A to select all and press the F9 key to let Word to generate the index table.
  • Include Glossary terms: Check this box if you want Biblioscape to generate a list of glossary according to the selection under the Glossary tab.
  • Use the followng defined format except for notes marked with "Preserve Formatting": Check this box if you want Biblioscape to format all the notes included in the outline in a uniform format. This format will not be used for those notes that are marked "Preserve Formatting". You can chose the font name and size, the text color and background color, text alignment including "Left Alighed", "Center Text", Justified Text", and "Right Aligned". You can also select the line spacing and list style. 
  • Notes to be compiled: Select "All notes in outline" if you want to include every notes even those marked with "Exclude Export". Select "Included for export" if you do not want to include those notes marked with "Exclude Export". Select "Excluded for export" if you only want to compile those notes marked with "Exclude Export". Select "Selected in outline" if you just want to compile those selected notes in the outline.
  • Notes fields to be included: In this section, you decide what fields of notes to be included in the compiled draft. The selections for the fields include Title, Note, Abstract, Misc, Metadata (Created by, Date Created, Modified by, Date Modified, Folder, Note Type, Mark, Priority, Label, Date target, Web post hide, Status, Wordcount, Target Wordcount, Progrss Wordcount), and Links which include links to references, notes, tasks, charts, categories, files, websites, and texts. You can pick different fields for notes at different levels in the outline. "First level notes" include all the root level notes that have childe notes. "Second level notes" includes all second level notes that have child notes. "Other parent notes" includes any notes below the second level and have child notes. "Child notes" includes all the notes that do not have any child note.
  • Notes Title alignment and font: For the title of notes at different levels in the outline, you can align the title differently (Left, Right, Center, Justified), and use different font style and size. 

Preview pane

The preview pane allows users to edit the content of the selected note without openning a separate window. At the top of the preview pane, note title, ID, type, folder, date created, date modified, created by, modified by are listed. You can click the arrow button to go to other notes. You can also chose to display two notes preview panes. This is especially usefule when you need to see the content of two notes side by side during writing.

  • Preview header: You can chose to turn off the preview header by go to "View | Preview | Preview Header".
  • Preview editor: You can toggle the toolbar and ruler on and off by clicking the right mouse button and select.
  • Prior Note: Click this button to display the note prior to the current one in the outline.
  • Next Note: Click this button to display the note next to the current one in the outline.
  • Horizontal / Vertical: If you chose to display two preview editors, clicking this button will toggle the display mode of these two editors between left/right and top/bottom.
  • One Pane / Two Panes: Click this button to show or hide the second preview editor. When you chose to show two preview editors, you can browse or edit two notes independently. It will be very useful if you need to compare two notes side by side.

Inspector pane

There are several tabs in the inspector pane. You can use it to view the metadata of a note, display notes in notes module and drag it into the outline, display references and drag it to preview pane to add temporary citations, or display categories and drag it to the outline to add index terms or to the glossary list to add glossary terms. During your writing, you may want to see how your notes look like when they are combined together. It will give you a better view of how your writing flows. You can select several notes, go to the Draft tab and click the Generate Draft button. All the selected notes will be combined to a single document. You can edit the draft document directly. If you want to save the changes, clicking the Save button will save your changes directly to the selected notes.

  • Inspector: The inspector pane display note fields that are relevant to the composition folder. These include:

Abstract: List a short summary of your note.
General: Under this section, the listed fields include Title, Note Type, Categories, Note Mark, Status, Label, Priority, Date Target, Word Count, and Target. You can customize the Status and Label fields pick list by selecting the "Edit..." item. The Note Mark field applies to the note in notes module.
Others: All fields listed under this section apply to the current composition folder only. The color flag selection for Comp Mark field will not be shown outside of this composition folder. If you want to mark the note itself, please use the Note Mark field under the General section. Check the box "Exclude Export" if you want to exclude the note when Biblioscape compiles the final draft. Check the box "Page Break Bf" if you want Biblioscape to add a page break before this note when it compiles the final draft. Check the box "Keep Format" if you want to keep the formatting used in the current note. Otherwise Biblioscape will use a uniform format for all the notes specified on the Compile tab.
Misc: You can add rich text related to this note for any purposes. You can also paste graphics or OLE objects into this field.

  • Links: It lists all the links to the current note. You can also add new links or delete existing ones. After you just click the composition folder, this tab lists all the links to the current composition folder instead of a note.
  • Notes: The notes tab lists notes by folder. You can also do a Fast Search. Once the desired notes are found, you can drag and drop selected notes to the outline.
  • References: The references tab provides an easy way to insert temporary citations to the notes preview editor. You can browse references by folder or run a Fast Search. Then drag and drop selected references to any position of the preview editor.
  • Categories: You can drag and drop selected categories to a note in the outline. The selected categories will be added as the index for that note. You can also drag and drop selected categories to the glossary list. They will be automatically added as glossary terms.
  • Draft: During writing, you may want to see how text flows from one section to another. It will be hard to see that when typing in the preview editor. To see a note in its context, you can select a few surrounding notes in the outline, go to the Draft tab and click the "Generate Draft" button. All the selected notes will be shown together in one piece. You can also start to write in the draft window and click the "Save Draft to Database" button to save your editing back to the notes records.